Police seized more than 700 marijuana plants with a street value of about $1.45 million at an Eastern Shore pot grow this summer, officials announced Monday.
The plants, which ranged from 6 to 10 feet tall, were discovered Aug. 20 at an abandoned 15-acre property in Chesterville, in Kent County, police said. The property was overgrown and the home was covered entirely with plywood, they said.
Investigators got a search warrant and found an indoor grow in the basement of the home, where the plants had been started before they were moved outside, police said. Many of the plants outside were of an "exotic variety" and they had a homemade irrigation and fertilizer system in place, police said.
They were just weeks from being ready to harvest, police said.
A small amount of processed marijuana, a heat sealer and multiple gallon plastic bags were found inside, as well as belongings of two suspects, police said. Police think the suspects were dropped off at the property to grow the drugs. Police watched the property for days before seizing the plants.
A pit bull had been left to guard the entrance to the marijuana fields. It was taken into custody by Animal Control and adopted, police said.
Investigators had to borrow a back hoe from a neighboring farm to get to all the plants; they filled at least three pickup trucks and a van.
The Queen Anne's County Drug Task Force, which led the investigation for the Kent County narcotics unit because of its size, has not made an arrest in the case. Officials said they have developed "several strong leads" and the investigation into who was growing the plants is ongoing.
The Talbot County Narcotics Task Force; Maryland State Police; the Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Office, Natural Resources Police and an investigator from Homeland Security Investigations assisted in the investigation.